What’s your point, Jason? That we don’t have an …

Comment on Price matters by Russell Guy.

What’s your point, Jason? That we don’t have an alcohol-abuse problem in the NT? That we haven’t had enough deaths from alcohol-abuse to prove it? That it doesn’t line the pockets of the alcohol industry at an enormous cost to the taxpayer when that money could be going into education, for example?
I first lived and worked out of Tennant Creek from 1985. I last lived there for a couple of years during the mid-1990s and lost four close Warumungu friends to alcohol-abuse in 12 months: one with cirrhosis, one poisoned by it, one died of burns from falling into a fire and the other, a victim of a hit and run.
I appreciate your distrust of statistics, but there are so many threads in the argument to turn the alcohol tap down that I can’t believe that, by now, you don’t come out and support the obvious need to cut supply along with any other argument you care to make. Where is the sociology in your argument?

Russell Guy Also Commented

Price matters
Rex, your cynicism about restrictions misses the point about whether we continue to allow the alcohol industry to dictate the terms in which we live.
Taking personal responsibility for consumption has been used to defend the industry, but many would argue that the State has a duty to protect its citizens or at the very least to mandate warnings as has occurred with the tobacco industry.
The Australian government is set on “closing the gap” of Indigenous disadvantage, present alcohol supply regulations are helping to sustain it.
Do you honestly think this situation will go away by putting the current generation of alcoholics in rehab?
When whitefellers clean up their own backyard, they might be able to point the finger. There might also be a drop in liquor store break-ins and rehab admissions.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ My Opinion, posted 20.2.18. 12:22pm:
I’m an amateur historian, but there’s an argument that the geo-political climate that caused Great Britain to raise the Union Jack over what became the colonies turned out to Australia’s advantage. At least, wisdom in hindsight suggests it so.
Indigenous or First Nations people suffered beyond measure and today assert a form of sovereignty through a limited Native Title that is not altogether historically retroactive, leading to social issues bundled together under slogans such as Closing the Gap.
There is always a relative unity among all peoples constituting a nation, but what seems undeniable is that united we stand, divided we fall.
Councils around the country fly the Aboriginal flag, but not, it seems, all that often from military sites, which still serve to unite a country in a geo-political sense, most often concerned with sovereign borders.
The social problems remain, so do other strategic sites from which the Aboriginal flag can be flown as a symbol of unity within the Alice community.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Surprised. Posted 6/2/18. 7:40AM. Re your comment about costs related to harmful levels of alcohol consumption within NT communities:
“You know, they fail to take into account that currently we pay $50m in the Territory in relation to alcohol sales in taxes. That money unfortunately goes straight to the Commonwealth so there is some arguments there how the Territory Government gets that money back” (Des Crowe, CEO. NT branch of the Australian Hotels Association. ABC 6/2/18, responding to the NT Police Association call for industry responsibility).
This appears to be a game of “pass the buck” with Liquor Inspectors and “new technology” attached to the BDR as a “way forward.”
Smoking in public places is banned and the health warnings that now appear on tobacco products have helped create a greater awareness of the issues related to the peer enforcement of smoking, but the tobacco industry didn’t go quietly.
Perhaps, the alcohol industry needs to admit responsibility and leadership by comparing the costs to public health for its products, but that would affect the corporate bottom line.
The $50m in taxes is miniscule in comparison to the billions spent on alcohol-related health issues that taxpayers subsidise on an annual basis.
That money could well be spent elsewhere.
It’s not an economic issue, but one of leadership in community values and political will.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Laurence, posted February 3, 2018. 6:17pm: Re your comment about a “radical rethink”.
Leaving aside the suite of measures so far employed to address the harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT and notwithstanding the absence of a floor price, there is something in what you say.
Stewardship is an old fashioned word for community values.
In the 1920s, Rev. John Flynn, who knew something about the health of people in the bush, wrote that we would have to render an account one day.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
There is a groundswell of awareness about the use of methamphetamine (Ice) at a community level throughout Australia.
Most people seem to have direct or anecdotal experience of families being tragically affected, but if it was better understood that ‘for every person who uses methamphetamine in a year there are 85 drinking alcohol;for every person addicted to methamphetamine there are 20 addicted to alcohol;for every ambulance call-out for methamphetamine problems there are 25 for alcohol;for every methamphetamine presentation to an Emergency Department there are 30 for alcohol;for every amphetamine-related death there are 65 alcohol deaths’ (source: Emeritus Professor Ian Webster, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education newsletter 2/2/18), the alcohol problem confronting communities in the NT might be considered more seriously.


THE TROLL by Blair McFarland
Thanks for this, Blair. As Monty Python would have it, say no more.


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